Sunday News, November 23
Fatal Accident Claims Five Lives
SLOAN, Iowa (AP) - Five people have been killed and three others taken to a hospital in serious condition after a head-on crash east of Sloan.
Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew tells the Sioux City Journal that the crash happened about 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Highway 141 and Eastland Avenue. Drew says a white Chevy Trailblazer was westbound on Highway 141 when the driver veered onto the gravel and overcorrected, causing them to lose control and crash into an eastbound black Ford truck. There were four occupants in each vehicle.
Authorities are not releasing the names of the victims. Drew said road conditions were not a factor in the crash.
An investigation is ongoing.
Winter Park Proposed For Sioux City
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Residents in northwestern Iowa could soon have their own winter wonderland.
The Sioux City Council will consider on Monday a $2.3 million proposal for a winter recreational project at the city's new Cone Park.
The project would be built on city-owned land next to the IBP Ice Center and Lewis and Clark Park in Morningside.
A recommendation based on a recent community survey says the park could include such features as hills for sledding and tubing, trails for cross-country skiing and warm-weather hiking, tow ropes, an outdoor ice skating rink and a warming house.
The recommendation also suggests the city charge an admission fees, provide concessions and equipment rentals and make the park available for private rentals year-round.
Hy-Vee Donates To Iowa Children's Hospital
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Grocery store chain Hy-Vee has donated $500,000 for the construction of the University of Iowa Children's Hospital.
The university's foundation tells the Iowa City Press-Citizen that the donation pushed fundraising efforts over the $29 million mark.
The university and foundation are working to raise $50 million in private donations for the new $292 million, 480,000 square-foot, pediatric hospital, which is scheduled to open in 2016. The fundraising effort is part of the foundation's "For Iowa, Forever More" campaign to raise $1.7 billion. Foundation officials report that larger campaign already has raised more than $1.37 billion, or about 80 percent of its goal.
Study Shows Black Youth More Likely To Be Suspended From Iowa Schools
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A study says black youth in Iowa are nearly five times more likely to be suspended from school and to be arrested by police than whites.
An advisory committee for Iowa's court system says in the report that "disproportionate minority contact" with the juvenile justice system is a major problem that needs to be addressed.
District Judge Duane Hoffmeyer of Sioux City, who chaired the committee, says schools, law enforcement agencies and judges all need to make reforms.
The report calls on Governor Terry Branstad and state leaders to host a summit to bring attention to the disparities, and to take several actions over the next five years.
Recommendations include adopting more training on racial bias and new screening tools to recommend punishments for juvenile offenders.
Democrats Try To Regroup After Election Results
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - After a bruising midterm election where they lost a competitive Senate race and emerged with just one of four congressional seats, Iowa Democrats are trying to regroup.
The recent results mean that Iowa will no longer have a congressional delegation evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. The retirement of longtime Sen. Tom Harkin creates a leadership void. And despite a significant voter outreach effort, many Democrats stayed home this year, suggesting the party's message was lacking.
State Sen. Janet Peterson, a Democrat from Des Moines, says the party is in a "rebuilding mode."
Democrats did maintain control by a narrow margin in the Iowa Senate, while Republicans expanded their majority in the Iowa House.